Monday, April 24, 2017

MMT Revealed! Beth Ann Fennelly

The poet is Beth Ann Fennelly! The poem is titled “Turning Twenty-Nine” from her collection Open House.

Among the subjects Fennelly addresses in her poetry are motherhood and parenting, love and marriage, death and loss, faith and religion, the natural world, and the Mississippi landscape. She uses a range of forms (blank verse, narrative, persona, sestina, and sonnet), writes in lyric sequences, often in a "direct address" style:
Turning Twenty-Nine

You thought you’d be wiser,
not still falling for the old x=y
You wonder how you’d do it if you were
the last person on earth and had to found
 a new civilization: could you describe
how an engine works? A radio? A lightbulb?
You repeat the word bulb. Bulb, bulb, bulb.  

Beth Ann Fennelly directs the MFA Program at the University of Mississippi, where she was named Outstanding Teacher of the Year. Fennelly has won grants and awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, as well as a Fulbright to Brazil.  Fennelly's first collection of poems, Open House, won multiple awards, including the Zoo Press Poetry Prize, the 2001 Kenyon Review Prize, the Great Lakes Colleges Association Award, and a Book Sense Top Ten Poetry Pick.  Her second poetry collection, Tender Hooks, and her third, Unmentionables, were published in 2004 and 2008. She also published a book of nonfiction, Great with Child: Letters to a Young Mother (Norton), in 2006.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

National Poetry Month: OHS Writing Marathon

On February 28th, Allison Movitz, an AP English teacher at Oxford High School, brought her students around town for an all day Writing Marathon. Drawing inspiration from places like Rowan Oak and the Museum, her students filled their notebooks with stories and poetry. 

When the students arrived at the Museum, they were treated to a poetry lesson Blair Hobbs developed for National Poetry Month and were read examples of previous college students' work. After their guided tour, the group used our gallery stools to sit amongst the collection and the following poems are the result of the time spent in our galleries.

Would you like to get involved with our six-word game? During the month of April, come and #joinUS at the Museum and be inspired by our collection! Take a photo with your favorite piece and come up with a six-word poem or story. Share it with us on social media using #umm6words! Happy National Poetry Month! 

Night Shadows
Edward Hopper, 1882-1967
On loan from the collection of Noel and Betty Watts

Night Shadows
Anonymous, OHS Student

I¹m walking through the darkness,
the eternal darkness of night.
Where I go,
no one really knows,
home, work, friends, It¹s anyone's guess.

The only thing known is that I keep walking,
the reason why is unclear,
but I know that I must keep walking,
I can feel it.

What lies have been told about why I walk,
they don¹t have a clue,
I know this because neither do I.

What lies ahead is unknown,
but what cannot be seen cannot harm,
and nothing can be seen in the night shadows.

Winged Griffins Attack a Horned Stag
1930s Copy of Olynthus Pebble Mosaic
Olynthus, 432-348 BCE

Winged Griffins Attack a Horned Stag
1930s copy of Olynthus Pebble Mosaic
Caroline, OHS Student

Kicking, thrashing, writhing
Teeth and claws sink into flesh of a horned stag
Wings beating with massive force
Tails curling and legs dancing
Thunderous screams
As mythical beasts attack
Ripping away the innocence
Tearing at the vigilant creature
Wild legends destroying the nature of reality

Optical Painting (ca 1854-1860)
Joseph Silberman, 1819-1892
Oil on Canvas
Millington Barnard Collection

It's an Illusion
Yazie Goulet, OHS Student

Colors flashing
Shapes appearing
Is it a trick of the eye
Or are they open at all

Lines blurring and changing
An endless kaleidoscope of movement
How long is it there
Or is it even there at all

Every angle something new
Move, and see the world flip flopped
Did you change directions
Or did the light

Time is irrelevant
Everything becomes one
Blackness makes every color pop, become real
Or was it the light

Just like with a zebra
You wonder what comes first
The black or the white
It doesn¹t matter
Or does it
It¹s all just an optical illusion

Rat, undated
Leonard Baskin, 1922-2000
Ink on Paper
Bequest of Seymour Lawrence


By Mia Sinha, OHS student

Punctured, wounded thrown out like trash.
I take only what you do not want, your garbage, your scraps, but you shoo
me away from even that.
I do not harm, taking what I need to barely crape by, yet you fear me in
such likes to a monster.
I scurry away with every ounce of speed I can muster, but your hateful
methods are faster.
You torture me with poison, maim me with your traps, kick me with your
boots; because I might bite.
You say I have taken over your home, yet this land was mine before your
structures were build.
You call me disgusting, you call me vile, yet it is not I who beats,
kills and destroys creatures they simply do not like.

Thetis Greeting Achilles
1930s copy of Olynthus Pebble Mosaic from the anteroom of the Villa of Good Fortune
Olynthus, 432-348 BCE

Kyle Rock, OHS Student

The art is put well together, piece by piece

Two men upon dragons, quite the display
The pebble-like brushstrokes fit together like a puzzle
It seems as though Thetis has something to say

Achilles, Achilles, that name means too much

I have deep sorrow for what your future holds
For I feel your pain while sitting in this boot,
The two black pebbles in your heel strike me cold

For I know you are destined to death, that is not hard to tell

Sadly you do not have this boot to keep you well
I hope my future does not hold the same
Or else that would be really lame

Achilles, Achilles, your art speaks to me

I am so glad to have found someone like me
I wish you the best, and I want you to know
I hope your meeting with dad is as good as it goes

Monday, April 17, 2017

Monday Museum TAKEOVER: Which Mississippi Poet Laureate Wrote this Poem?

From the UM Libraries and Special Collections Library Sloth: 
Hey folks!
It’s National Poetry Month! Not only do sloths love poetry, but we inspire it, too. Check out a poem written by Theodore Roethke about sloths like me!

The Sloth
In moving slow he has no Peer.
You ask him something in his Ear, He thinks about it for a Year;
And, then, before he says a Word There, upside down (unlike a Bird), He will assume that you have Heard
A most Ex-as-per-at-ing Lug. But should you call his manner Smug, He'll sigh and hive his Branch a Hug;
Then off again to Sleep he goes, Still swaying gently by his Toes, And you just know he knows he knows.

Oh, I guess I should also give you a mystery, too, shouldn't I? How about this: which novelist, non-fiction, and Mississippi Poet Laureate wrote the following poem? 

This poet is also a Fulbright scholar, winner of prestigious poetry awards like the Pushcart Prize, AND also teaches poetry and nonfiction writing at the University of Mississippi!